San Rafael Twilight (Sunset)

Tucker makes a brief appearance on the start line (from :03 to :05) in the winner, Justin Williams’ (Cylance) video from Saturday.

Those #FigFast green & black colors look good under the lights…next year we’ll send a full squad!

Jessica also took another top ten in the women’s 3/4 earlier in the day.

Cascade Classic Results & San Rafael Sunset Criterium

The team is back from a long trip and big stage race in Bend, Oregon – the Cascade Cycling Classic. We scored three podiums, and two more top tens. Full results can be found here.

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Brandon scored two second place finishes, this one atop Mt. Bachelor, and a 6th overall in GC.

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Jess got barley nipped at the line and took second at the Downton Criterium after her TT in the morning on Saturday.

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Julia guest rode for the Canyon Bicyles – Shimano pro team in her first race as a 2. She had some unfortunate luck that saw a screw go through her wheel during stage 3, ending her weekend a bit early. We can all attest the Giesch still had fun!

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Not a bad drive, albeit 12 hours long…

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Racing in the mountains with scenery like this, we’ll be back next year!

Tomorrow, Tucker is racing the San Rafael Twilight (or Sunset as it is now known) criterium in Marin County. His form is on point, look for him to sneak up on some NorCal hitters and grab a #FigFast podium!

Bbakes also scored his final upgrade, fourth of the season, into the 1st. This is FMBR’s 11th of the season.

Patterson Pass Road Race next weekend as well…stay tuned!

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The 2s squad post Mt. Bachelor Road Race before the podium shot.

Crusher in Tushar, SoCal Crit Racing and Cascade

The team had a great adventure to Beaver, Utah for the Crusher in Tushar and enjoyed a weekend at elevation gravel grinding and enjoying the the southern Utah Mountains. David made a sweet video of his experience out on the course here:

Jess continued her domination of the 3s in the SoCal crit scene (results are updated) and seven team members are in Bend, Oregon for the 37th Annual Cascade Cycling Classic.

From our women’s team, Julia is guest riding for the Canyon Bicycles Shimano team for her first UCI pro event.

Stay tuned for #FigFast results over the course of the weekend!

Results: Nationals, CCCX & Long Beach Grand Prix

D. Priest (the Beast) took home 55th and 60th in the TT and road race this week in Louisville, Kentucky. A great showing for his first two races as a category one racer against the best amateurs in the country.

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TJ returned to racing for the first time in eleven months to snag his first podium in the #FigFast green & black. He is riding strong, happy and ready to attack the late season races in order to make the jump to the elite squad.

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Stern snagged his third win of the season and a fourth place at CCCX for a few more upgrade points, bringing him over the 50% mark for his category one upgrade.

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Caps Not Hats

Jessica took her second win of the year in emphatic style, posting up for a finishing line salute at the Long Beach Grand Prix today.

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Next weekend the team sends a group of racers to Beaver, Utah for the Crusher in Tushar – thanks our amazing apparel sponsor DNA Cycling for setting this up…road trip!

Full results HERE

#WeAreFigMtn

Victorville Road Race AND a Secret UPGRADE

Jason, Jeff & John drove half-way to Vegas for the Victorville Road Race yesterday, held under 105 degree temperature and 40 mile per hour wind (not to uncommon to last weekend’s race at Lake Elizabeth) conditions. Without consistent bottle hand-ups, Jason and John were forced to drop out of the scorching heat conditions half-way through.

Stern was able to freelance a few bottles from the sparse spectators littered on the lone 1.1 mile, 2% feedzone climb of the 6 mile lap around the beautiful Victorville USP. He hung onto a group of three other chasers of a two man break until cramping off the back due to a lack of accessible hydration – with only 4 laps to go. Riding the final circuits solo he held on for fifth place on the day. A brutal and memorable two upgrade points to say the least.

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In other news, Julia apparently received her Cat 2 upgrade this week (but didn’t tell anyone) – FMBR‘s tenth upgrade only six months into the 2016 season. That is nearly two upgrades per month. 

#WeAreFigMtn #FigFast

Results from Lodi, San Marcos and Adrenaline

The first weekend of June saw three of our elite riders head north for the the Guardsmen Tour SF which our main sponsor, Fig Mtn Brew, also sponsored this year as well as the Lodi Cyclefest.

Our #FigFast ladies attacked three criteriums in SoCal and came back with four top ten finishes. Results are posted.

This weekend we’ll send riders to the Lake Elizabeth Road Race – check back next week for results. #WeAreFigMtn

57th Annual Mt. Hamilton Classic Road Race Win

This was my number one race on the calendar from the moment I finished the 2015 edition. I fell in love with the gradual HC climb to start, the stunning views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Bay Area, the wicked technical descent that always breaks a few bones each year, the kickers, point-to-point, the finish, the whole shebang. It requires competency in so many skills which is perfect for me because I’m not amazing at anything, just really good at a lot of different things on the bike.

In 2015 I’d never ridden the backside descent of Mt. Hamilton ever before. Talk about an eye opener. For those local Santa Barbarians, it’s akin to bombing down Painted Cave – trust me, I’ve done that before and it’s no exaggeration. That is what it takes to make the front group at Hammy.

Luckily, this year I got to ride it again only a few months ago. I thought ahead that day to May 29th and knew I wanted to win yesterday. It’s amazing that the power of intent and positive thinking can have an affect on the outcome, but I’m sure that was the case with yesterday.

Our race weekend started with an awesome team ride around Pebble Beach, an entertaining coffee stop and awesome team dinner – watching the Warriors win and force a game 7 was icing on the cake! It was also a bit inspiring.

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After the game we had a brief Strava course recon and impromptu team strategy meeting. With Dolce Vita bringing 6 strong riders that we’ve all competed against before, we knew to keep our eye on them. Based on our success this season, we also knew that we weren’t an unknown anymore. We had a target on our backs, but there was nothing anyone could do.

The plan was executed to a ‘t’ from the moment we lined up. Bobby was ready to attack from the gun. And attack he did. As soon as we made the right hand turn onto Mt. Hamilton Road from Alum Rock, he went. Within a minute he was back, but the tone was set. Shortly thereafter another solo rider rolled off the front and Bobby went with him. They slowly gained a gap and went out of sight. This forced exactly what we wanted; Dolce Vita to use energy to keep the breakaway within reach. Everyone knows a big gap on the climb can be sustained to the finish if the riders off the front can descend.

David, Brandon and myself stayed easily in the top 15 for both pitch one and two of the climb as Bobby inched away and Dolce Vita burned match, after match.

After the long swooping left hand bend leading into the third and longest pitch of the Mt. Hammy climb, Bobby and his breakaway compatriot came into sight. The tempo picked up as we gradually pitched into the six mile finale to the peak. I quickly recognized the increase in speed and moved as close to the front as possible following another decisive wheel. Right before the catch happened, a Dolce and unaffiliated (who can always be dark horses) bridged up to the break and pushed on. My friend and fellow competitor since nearly day one of my racing career, Chris Zappalà, started crushing and Brandon quickly grabbed his wheel.

This was the deciding moment of the race.

As the hecticness of the climb continually reshuffled over the next few miles, Brandon and Chris’ gap grew to a minute thirty over the top. I came over the summit in the second group featuring two Limitless juniors, one Muscle Milk-Specialized, one Team Illuminate (who was in my breakaway in the 3s last year), our unaffiliated friend on a Santa Cruz disc bike with ‘cross gearing and one Dolce rider close in pursuit.

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Photo by Alex Chiu

I came to the front to push the pace even higher over the top knowing we could pop those who sat up across the false summit and also to be able to lead down the descent – which I did. Erik (in the black who came over the top with me last year and stayed in the break as well) and I shared duties leading down the descent featuring gravel, 180 degree hairpins, cattle guards and bumpy tarmac. We kept it safe and fast as we lost the two juniors and Muscle Milk rider.

We collected our neutral feeds and took a breather as Chris fell back to our group, “Your teammate was an animal on the descent.” Yeah, I know he is a beast – I still remember the Century. I quickly realized Brandon was solo off the front at a minute plus and as Cooper from Dolce bridged up I had a free ride from a group of my four breakaway compatriots. So, for nearly 45 minutes I sat on fueling/hydrating and just enjoying the view as I watched four very organized racers rotate through. I’d never been in a position like this in a group. I’m always working and instigating. But in this particular position, everyone was just jealous of me. I was saving precious energy that I would use later.

At this precise moment I realized I was going to to win this race.

We caught Brandon at the start of the second kicker about 20 miles from the finish. My free ride lasted nearly 20 miles…I gave Brandon a big smile, took an extra empty bottle from him and asked how he was. Good, as always. I gave him a few minutes to recover and then I attacked, bringing Cooper with me and forcing Erik to chase with Brandon sucking his wheel. Chris and Adam (unaffiliated) were dropped instantly and our group was down to four. FMBR now had a 50% chance of winning.

The last hour of racing was finishing my second bottle of Skratch, always Matcha for a caffeine boost at the end. I don’t do caffeine until the end of the race. I also thoroughly enjoyed having two more UnTapped syrups – this stuff is a natural boost of energy that is high in electrolytes, easy to digest, not sticky like traditional gels and gives me a huge kick of energy.

All four of us rotated fairly cohesively with a few little mini attacks as everyone started to think about strategy. It was one of my most enjoyable racing experiences being able to talk with Brandon, gauge how he felt, give him info of time, mileage and terrain to go. As we approached the final technical and quick descent Cooper jumped hard and Brandon covered his wheel. I told him not to loose it because we were so close. Stretched out, but together we came into the flat lead-up to the finish and then it all slowed. Erik came to the front and announced he wasn’t going to sprint – that makes our life easier. We now have a 66% chance of winning. I forced Cooper into second wheel with Brandon behind me. At the 200k meter to go sign, right after Cooper looked over his left shoulder and as soon as his head was facing forward, I jumped as hard as I could over that side, Brandon followed and we went 1-2 with relative ease.

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Photo by Alex Chiu

This was easily the most enjoyable, beautifully executed and memorable race I’ve ever been apart of. Not to mention giving me my first two win season ever! Thanks again go to my teammates Brandon, Bobby and David for being apart of some #FigFast magic.

I went to bed the night before thinking I could win, I woke up believing I would win and as I sat on the back of the group bringing back Bbakes I KNEW I was going to win. #WeAreFigMtn



Mt. Hamilton Sunday

Pardon our mid-year, Tour of California, Gila Hangover, crash recovery, 10-day-plus-season-interlude….

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We’re ramping up for our first race back – the infamous Mt. Hamilton Classic, point-to-point road race. This year’s edition is the 57th Annual, and the #FigFast squad will look for continued success in the second half of the season at this storied race.

We’ll see Silverander in the 3s, Fennell (he’s a 2x past winner) & Owen in the 55+ , Bbakes, Priest (also a 2x winner) and Stern back in racing shape and taking advantage of one of the only straight 2s road race in the NCNCA/SCNCA districts.

Bobby is on the mend from a recent crash and should be racing soon.

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Stay tuned for results! #WeAreFigMtn

David’s 2016 Tour of the Gila Report

If you race bikes The Tour of the Gila needs little introduction. This little report is not for the bike racing readers out there. It is for the readers who appreciate the beauty of head to head competition in the greatest sport arena; the natural elements.

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Quick summary for the bike racers who are just looking for a race report: I’m a solid 83 kilos and I live at nearly sea level. I was on my best form of the season and that earned me a top 20 finish in the Stage 1 Mogollon Road Race, easily my best result of the race. I felt like I acclimated reasonably well to sleeping and racing at 6,500 feet of elevation and finished 28th in the time trial on Day 3 and ultimately 27th in the GC on the last day, right where I belonged. My teammate Brandon Baker rode like the insanely talented bike racer he is and finished 13th overall despite losing minutes in GC due to a Stage 2 puncture. That is racing and the way Brandon continued to fight is way back into the GC battle is what bike racers do. Bobby Lozoya was the other #FigFast racer that made the 12 hour car ride to rural New Mexico. My first P12 race was Cat’s Hill Classic and I used to believe that was the hardest P12 debut ever. Bobby chose to make his first Cat 1,2 race Tour of The Gila. I stand corrected, Tour of The Gila is the hardest P12 introduction ever.  Bobby finished top 20 on Stage 1 and still got dropped in the fast start of the Stage 3 Criterium and got pulled from the race.  No shame in that at all.  Bobby is a talented bike racer and I have no doubt he will be back at Gila improving on his debut.

Now back to why I really started writing this report: To describe the beauty that is bike racing from a bike racers point of view.  The Tour of the Gila is a 30 year old five day stage race center in Silver City, New Mexico. Silver City is the gateway to the immense Gila National Forrest. The Gila region where the race takes place is best described as high desert at the lower elevations of 6,500 feet that transitions to pine forrest at the highest elevations of the race at over 8,000 feet. The race is a high altitude climbers paradise, as every single stage features a major elevation gain with two of the three road races have mountain top finishes.

Stage 1 featured an average speed of 32 mph for the first 2.5 hours thanks to a stiff tailwind.  Stage 1 of any stage race is always nervous as the whole race is still up for grabs and everyone has illusions of the overall win. Cruising at 30+ mph just means that when that nervous energy results in the inevitable touch of wheels and resulting crash that its going to be a big one.  Nobody wants to be behind that impending crash and the speed just gets faster and faster as everyone tries to claim the few available spots at the front of the peloton. It’s a fun cycle! I almost forgot to mention that Stage 1 finishes on a 8k climb with pitches well over 15%. Stage 1 is a grand introduction and really sets the tone for the days to come.

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Stage 2 is the easy road race on paper.  Its the shortest and has the least amount of climbing. The race profile makes the final 25km look pretty easy with a down hill run into the finish. The race profile lies. 20 of that final 25k is uphill and windy. The race absolutely shattered and the day supposedly meant for a bunch sprint produced some of the biggest finish line time gaps of the whole race.

The Stage 3 time trial is essentially a 13k undulating climb averaging just under 2% gradient on the way out to a turn around and a fast descent back. That awesome tail wind from Stage 1 routinely blows 30 mph plus in your face on the way out and this year was no different. A few racers literally found themselves blown into the ditch. To put it into perspective, the outbound head wind portion of the time trial took most racers 27-30 minutes and the tailwind return took only half that time. Gnarly.

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The Stage 4 Criterium in downtown Silver City is hilly, bumpy and the most technical 4 corner criterium course I have ever done.  It does not play much of factor in the General Classification(GC) battle, but you can you find your Tour of the Gila over a day early if you get pulled.  No participation awards in stage racing.  If you don’t finish in a certain percentage of the winners time, you get eliminated.  No questions asked, you just get a email with the results and a DNF next to your name.

They call Stage 5 the Gila Monster because it is 103 miles, has 8000+ feet of climbing and finished up a monstrosity of a series of climbs called the Gila Monster. The biggest and longest climb of the day start about one hour into the nearly five hour day on the bike.  Ever racing just hopes they can make it over this early climb of Emory Pass with the front group. Only about 25 of the 80 racers that survived to start the last stage made it over this early climb. The rest spent the day riding in small groups trying to limit there time loses or just riding alone for four hours to the finish. I am not one to give many kudos for participation, but if you finish this day regardless of how much time you lose you are a legit pedal bike pusher in my book.

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You can look up the results on the internet, but results never tell the full story. Hopefully this little rundown gave you some more insight on what The Tour of the Gila is like if you have not had the opportunity to experience it yourself. Just incase my enthusiasm did not come across, I highly recommend it!

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